It may not surprise you to learn that in order to prepare our students to take high stakes standardized tests, teachers in our district are directed to give high-ish stakes standardized practice tests. Oh, it's all in the name of data-analysis, and by now, kids in public school are pretty used to the routine.
So, yesterday I couldn't resist adding a playful password that was required to download their second quarter check-up. Everyone had to wait until each student reached the screen where they were required to type in the secret word to continue. I found their anticipation kind of funny-- many were practically vibrating waiting for those last few screens to load, and when at last it was time to reveal the magic word that would let them start the, ahem, test, all eyes were riveted on me.
"I'm just going to put it on the board," I said and grabbed a piece of chalk. There I drew three stacked circles, a little hat on top, and some stick arms. "Do you want to build a..." I sang.
"SNOWMAN!" they warbled in chorus and eagerly set to work.
"Wait! WAIT!" cried one student. "It's NOT working!"
"Bro!" answered the guy next to him. "It's a compound word! NO space!"